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SEC Gives Certain Companies Additional Year to Adopt Key FASB Standards

Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Deputy Chief Accountant Sagar Teotia has announced that companies that fail to meet the public business entity definition, separate from being required to include financial statements with their filings of public business entities, will receive an additional year to adopt the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (“FASB”) revenue recognition and lease standards. Decided at the FASB’s Emerging Issues Task Force meeting last week, Teotia said his staff will not object to the affected companies complying with Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) No. 2014-09, Revenue From Contracts With Customers (Topic 606), and ASU No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842),. Read More.

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Final Standard for Securities Offerings Documents Approved

Last month, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Auditing Standards Board unanimously approved a final standard concerning an auditor’s responsibility regarding securities offerings documents not registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The final standard will likely be issued as Statement on Auditing Standards No. 133: Auditor Involvement With Exempt Offering Documents. It would impact securities that are not required to follow the SEC’s registration requirements and rules under the Securities Act of 1933. In addition, the standard will affect franchise offerings controlled by the Federal Trade Commission or appropriate state franchise laws. The standard could become effective. Read More.

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New PCAOB White Paper Discusses Emerging Growth Companies

A new white paper by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“PCAOB”) features significant observations about emerging growth companies. Published as White Paper on Characteristics of Emerging Growth Companies , the report includes information from recent Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filings and statistics from third-party vendors as of November 15, 2016. Some of the key observations discuss the emerging growth companies with common equity securities on U.S. exchanges; the percentage of emerging growth companies not listed on an exchange and reported zero revenues and those that disclosed they were shell companies; and the filers that delivered management reports regarding internal control over financial reporting, and those filers. Read More.

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Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Protections Upheld

A broad interpretation of Dodd-Frank whistleblower protections was upheld this month by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (“Ninth Circuit”). Earlier this month, the Ninth Circuit ruled that whistleblowers who report illegal behavior through their employer instead of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) fall under the anti-retaliation protections. The decision was based on the case of Somers v. Digital Realty Trust, which involved the termination of Digital Realty’s former vice president being fired after reporting possible securities law violations. Paul Somers sued Digital Realty, claiming that his termination violated whistleblower protections under the Dodd-Frank Act. Digital Realty maintained that. Read More.

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SEC’s Bricker Urges Implementation of Revenue Recognition Standard

Nearly 10 percent of public companies have not started to implement Accounting Standards Update No. 2014-09, Revenue From Contracts With Customers (Topic 606). While the percentage is insignificant, Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chief Accountant Wesley Bricker is telling unprepared companies they have no option but to begin the implementation process. At a panel discussion during the SEC Speaks conference on February 25, Bricker said that companies cannot overlook the importance of the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s revenue recognition standard and must prepare accordingly. He encouraged companies to communicate their implementation plans with audit committees, executive teams and others, and. Read More.

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SEC to Move Forward with Conflict Minerals Rule

Despite the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s (“the Court”) recent ruling, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Chair Mary Jo White announced that the SEC will continue to carry out most of its Conflict Minerals final rule. The final rule, which forces companies to publicly reveal whether or not they have used conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or neighboring countries and file the disclosure on an SEC-issued form, was ruled by the Court as a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. During her testimony at the April 29th “Oversight of. Read More.

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